Gardening in August

1) Take Cuttings
This month is a good time to increase your plants by taking cuttings. Use a well-drained compost that has either half Perlite or Vermiculite mixed in. Use some ‘rooting powder’ to help encourage roots. Put the cuttings in a shady place – water regularly rooting in 4-5 weeks.

2) Container Plants
Keep feeding and use a feed such as MiracleGro or Phostrogen in your watering can to make sure your plans grow stronger. Healthy plants are better at resisting disease and pests.

3) In Your Borders
– Keep dead heading your roses to encourage new flowers.
– Check for pest and diseases i.e. black spot, rust or greenfly and spray if required. Only spray early morning or late evening to avoid bees and other pollinators.

4) Pruning
– Trim lavenders now
– Remove old flower spikes this encourages plants to flower more. Remove 2.5cm of foliage to help keep bushes more compact.
– Cut back wayward growths on margarites, osteospernums and Achilleas.
– Hedge trimming: good time to trim Beach, Hornbeam and Cotoneasters. Only trim conifers lightly on new seasons growth.

5) Kitchen Garden
– Regularly cut courgettes and marrows as young veg has much better flavour.
– Cropping of summer cabbages now before the cabbage white butterfly lays too many eggs and their caterpillars damage your crop. If they are a big problem, then net your crop.
– Onions soon ready for harvesting. Lift them and leave on the surface of your soil to dig out and ripen.

6) Lawns
– Apply a high phosphate fertiliser which promotes root growth and toughens up the grass for winter.
– Raise your wheels up on the mower so that the grass can grow slightly longer.
– Leave the grass box off to allow the clippings to act as mulch to retain moisture in the lawn